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Posting on forums.freebsd.org quite a hassle

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tzoi516

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#26
frijsdijk said:
Am I the only one that feels posting on these forums is a hassle everytime. Only rarely posts are unedited/untouched by the administrators on these forums.
I don't find it being a hassle, and I think having standards is good.

That being said, after reading the new user stickies and browsing the forums I don't feel encouraged to post anything here. I'm human, which means I'll make mistakes. If I don't contribute to the discussion or evangelism then how will we know what I'm capable of providing? In a country of 300+ million people, what percentage of the FreeBSD community does my demographic account for? Does that help or hinder the advancement of FreeBSD? English is my primary language and I know I'm beyond help, but I do know how to use "an" and the difference between an acronym and an abbreviation. So being edited by some peers who don't isn't welcoming either.

I'm not saying standards should be loosened. I am saying people need to be more understanding; forums are still a new thing for people, so asking a question before searching for an answer is still commonplace; English is a second language for a lot of people internationally, so time spent editing a post might take longer than answering the question.
 

DutchDaemon

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#27
No one's ever been kicked off for being 'bad at English', period. We do expect improvements when posts need to be edited for the same type of mistake over and over again, especially when these are mistakes that are literally mentioned and explained in the guidelines. We do point to the proper procedures and give help and suggestions using edit comments under posts and the occasional PM, but those who are "beyond repair" (sometimes willfully so) will, at some point, stop wasting our resources and our willingness to be understanding. Your observations and/or fears are, in my opinion, overly dramatic.
 

tzoi516

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#28
DutchDaemon said:
Your observations and/or fears are, in my opinion, overly dramatic.
Opinionated labeling, especially when people "dog pile" on forums, isn't encouraging. I'm sure other like-minded people will share your opinion, but others who don't probably won't out of fear of being labeled dramatic (who wants to be the drama queen on a forum?). Just sharing my opinion, not judging anyone, or taking anything personally.
 

DutchDaemon

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#29
I just vented my own opinion. That's what forums are for, among other things. Don't be so defensive or scared. Participate, or don't.

P.S. apparently this was a meta-post about meta-fear of meta-opinions.
 

fonz

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#30
[Directed at the reader in general, not at anybody in particular.]

What's more, the key mantra is to not take it personal when your post is edited. We generally try to do our moderation work as unobtrusively as possible. We don't highlight every little correction, nor do we put remarks under every post we edit. And we certainly don't edit posts just "because we can", because we like being pedantic or because we don't like someone.

  • If you have received a PM about your writing, try to understand why. The problem is usually not with language (as @DutchDaemon pointed out, we do understand that not everybody is equally fluent in English; in fact, several frequent posters here are not) but with formatting and/or style. Please try to use at least the [CMD], [CODE] and [FILE] tags (correctly) when appropriate, try to make proper sentences and paragraphs, be precise with units, that sort of thing. Granted, there are a LOT of rules here, but most of them really are just common sense and they only serve to make these forums more pleasant to read.
  • If a remark has been left under your post, it's pretty much the same. Try to understand what the remark means and why somebody found it important enough to leave that remark.
  • If your post has been edited but no remark has been left, it's usually something small. You can click on the "Last edited by..." link to see what was changed, but it will most likely just be a small detail, not worth getting upset about.
Everybody (including moderators and administrators) gets their posts edited at least once in a while. As long as you put a little effort into making sure your posts are pleasant to read, there's no need to get upset.
 
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ShelLuser

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#31
tzoi516 said:
I'm not saying standards should be loosened. I am saying people need to be more understanding; forums are still a new thing for people, so asking a question before searching for an answer is still commonplace; English is a second language for a lot of people internationally, so time spent editing a post might take longer than answering the question.
Your post contradicts itself a little; because how can you tell if people are or aren't understanding if you haven't experienced any of it for yourself?

And well, I also think it's important to keep the general purpose of a forum in mind; an option to help people out. In general most people don't spend their time on a forum but only use it when they face a problem. Whereas others, like myself, do tend to find some satisfaction in trying to help out other people with their problems; even in a place like this


Of course, I'm biased. But even so; in the end we're all being treated equally. Even moderators or "special users" can find their post moderated.

So in the end this is simply "the way it works". Either you like it or you don't, that is entirely up to you.
 

tzoi516

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#32
ShelLuser said:
Your post contradicts itself a little; because how can you tell if people are or aren't understanding if you haven't experienced any of it for yourself?
How so? I used to admin forums (PHPBB-based), and my input here is based off of user input on those forums.
 

srobert

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#34
I think Americans are particularly sensitive to having their grammar corrected. (Maybe it pertains to the degree of multi-culturalism and the emphasis of a need for tolerance in the U.S.) I have been in social situations where a "grammar Nazi" would become so overbearing that people would refrain from making important contributions to the conversation. We don't want that to happen here. But we should remember our posts are being read internationally by people for whom English is a second language, and for whom colloquial standards in English are different than they are for Americans. Additionally, with regard to technical standards that are unique to Internet communications, or to the FreeBSD forum in particular, (such as it's FreeBSD not fbsd), no one is expecting you to attain perfect mastery of those standards. Just make a reasonable effort at it. The corrections are not intended to make you feel inadequate. Most all of my posts have been moderated in some way. But when I investigate each of the edits, in every case it has been to make them more readable. I appreciate the effort the moderators and administrators put into facilitating our communication.
 

DutchDaemon

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#35
That's all there's to it. Sure, we may get crabby, exasperated, or downright suicidal, but this is all there is to it in the end.
 

fonz

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#36
srobert said:
I think Americans are particularly sensitive to having their grammar corrected. (Maybe it pertains to the degree of multi-culturalism and the emphasis of a need for tolerance in the U.S.) I have been in social situations where a "grammar Nazi" would become so overbearing that people would refrain from making important contributions to the conversation.
That's a good point. I've had similar experiences with Asian people, particularly Japanese. They tend to be quite afraid to make any mistakes and to feel ashamed when someone points out they made any.

srobert said:
We don't want that to happen here.
[snip]
no one is expecting you to attain perfect mastery of those standards. Just make a reasonable effort at it. The corrections are not intended to make you feel inadequate.
And another good point. That's what the "don't take it personal" thing means. Pretty much everybody here gets edited now and again, including moderators and administrators. After all, nobody's perfect. The key is to not read too much into it. What's more (speaking from the moderators' side of the fence): it's easier to spot errors made by others than to write something that is entirely error-free yourself. Perhaps the following analogy is appropriate:

As a driver it's extremely easy to pick faults at the driving style of others, but you probably don't drive perfectly all the time yourself, either.

Interestingly enough, driving style is one other thing that people tend to be rather touchy about and very few people like having others point out their mistakes :) However, that doesn't mean no mistakes are ever made.

Bottom line: if you need to improve significantly, you will be told so. Otherwise, just put in a little effort and you'll be fine. To conclude, here's another analogy: if you send me a poorly written e-mail, I can choose to just delete it and that's that. But if you post here, everybody can read it. This forum aspires to look good, so things will be corrected if necessary.
 

srobert

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#37
fonz said:
As a driver it's extremely easy to pick faults at the driving style of others, but you probably don't drive perfectly all the time yourself, either.
Interestingly enough, driving style is one other thing that people tend to be rather touchy about and very few people like having others point out their mistakes :) However, that doesn't mean no mistakes are ever made.
Absolutely, when my wife criticizes my driving from the passenger seat, I constantly remind myself that she's offering constructive criticism to help me be a better driver. Telling myself that is what keeps me from deliberately driving off of a cliff.:e
 

morbit

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#38
This is not directed at fonz in particular (After all, he was using the same browser as me, so he must be a gentleman of discriminating tastes obviously ;)) but I think last time I got edited, it was (I may be wrong!) till to until. Eh? till is a fine, fine old word from Old English/Old Norse, not some informal mongrel. I can take a good pun, but some efforts look misguided at least.
 

fonz

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#39
morbit said:
I think last time I got edited, it was (I may be wrong!) till to until. Eh? till is a fine, fine old word from Old English/Old Norse, not some informal mongrel.
It's actually explicitly mentioned in the rules. That rule was there before me and to be honest I never bothered to check, but I'll do that now.
 

mix_room

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#40
srobert said:
Absolutely, when my wife criticizes my driving from the passenger seat, I constantly remind myself that she's offering constructive criticism to help me be a better driver.
But how often do you dare to criticize your wife's driving? ;)
 

DutchDaemon

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#41
Again: we try to keep the English here more or less generic and accessible, for non-English speakers, and for the translation software that some of them are forced to use. So until you till the soil, don't consider Old Norse the standard here, 'correct' as it may be from a purely linguistic standpoint. Also note that not every edit is to correct an out and out mistake; most of them are for the purpose of clarification, or to weed out colloquialisms, txtspk, and lingo.
 

SirDice

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#42
I think "I'm gonna..." is one other example of this. While perfectly acceptable in certain situations it usually trips up translating software and non-English speakers. It should really be "I'm going to..."
 

fonz

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#45
SirDice said:
While perfectly acceptable in certain situations it usually trips up translating software and non-English speakers.
To be honest I hadn't even thought of the translation software issue. Many people who have little or no grasp of English need that to read this forum, but apparently said software often can't tell prepositions from verbs :r
 

Durden

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#46
I was an English major in college and I can say with complete honesty that my professors in school cared less about grammar/spelling than the moderators of these forums. In fact some of my professors when emailing or posting to discussion forums had far worse grammar/spelling than I've seen out of my foreign friends because they simply didn't care on this sort of medium. They saved their efforts for official correspondences and papers.

Truth be told I don't care much. If moderators here wish to spend their time correcting people's spelling and grammar that's their prerogative. It just seems like a waste of time and insulting to those who may not have the strongest written skills. No one likes to be looked down at from the end of someone else's nose and I couldn't blame them for not participating under those circumstances. As little as I actually care it still actually discourages me from wanting to participate because it's a needless source of drama that I'd just rather not deal with.

I'm cool with standards but taken to extremes they do more harm than good. Just my 2 cents, I'm done.
 

Juanitou

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#48
fonz said:
What drama?
The tone of some of the messages in this thread belongs rather to a teenager comedy. Taking the corrections of moderators to the personal, emotional levels is plainly immature.

I came to FreeBSD by luck, with no previous experience in Linux, having only used Windows and Mac OS as a desktop user. I’m using FreeBSD as a hobby, mainly for learning programming and to recover and old motherboard and some spares to build a poor-woman-home-cinema for my wife. It’s evident now for me that FreeBSD is not the best choice for home multimedia, but what keeps me using it is precisely the quality of the documentation, where I include this forum. This quality owes a huge lot to the work of moderators and extends beyond technical knowledge into the sadly neglected realms of typography and grammar. For someone as me, who’s still learning English as a third language, reading on this forum is such a pleasure and a fruitful experience that I can assure you that I’ll continue being a member even if I stop using FreeBSD and try another Unix derivative.

Thanks everybody,
Juan
 

Whattteva

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#49
Durden said:
I was an English major in college and I can say with complete honesty that my professors in school cared less about grammar/spelling than the moderators of these forums. In fact some of my professors when emailing or posting to discussion forums had far worse grammar/spelling than I've seen out of my foreign friends because they simply didn't care on this sort of medium. They saved their efforts for official correspondences and papers.
It sure was not the case with my school. My professors definitely cared about correctness, even non-English subjects. To be honest, I think it's a perfectly reasonable expectation considering any word processor worth their salt these days has automatic grammar and spell checking.

Durden said:
Truth be told I don't care much. If moderators here wish to spend their time correcting people's spelling and grammar that's their prerogative. It just seems like a waste of time and insulting to those who may not have the strongest written skills. No one likes to be looked down at from the end of someone else's nose and I couldn't blame them for not participating under those circumstances. As little as I actually care it still actually discourages me from wanting to participate because it's a needless source of drama that I'd just rather not deal with.

I'm cool with standards but taken to extremes they do more harm than good. Just my 2 cents, I'm done.
I don't know why people take corrections so personal. It's constructive criticism and improves your future writing free of charge (unlike private tutors)!

Also, just as @Juanitou mentioned in the post above mine, properly written writing helps even non-native English speakers understand things much better.
 
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sk8harddiefast

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#50
Write just trying to keep the forum's right way of posting. Moderators here, keep everything PERFECT without any mistake. The 99% of every post here, is edited to be just perfect. Is not something strange. Almost all of our posts are edited everyday to be just "the best way to post". If you try to make all your posts perfect, you want at least 30 minutes for every post. Is not something personal. Is something usual. Also I speak bad English. None, never told me something about that. And me too, I do mistakes.
 
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